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Every week, EduNav rounds up three must-read articles about student success. The trends that they highlight, challenges they explore, and innovative thinking that they spotlight inspire us every day as we work to help our college and university partners meet their student success goals. On our must-read list this week: addressing the gender gap (no, not that one), boosting student ROI, and building a thriving campus culture.

There’s another gender gap that we need to address

“Barely 40% of men earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, compared with just over half of women… Even fewer Black and Hispanic men graduate on time — 21% and 32%, respectively,” reports The Chronicle of Higher Education in an exploration of what they call “the problem no one is talking about”: gender disparities when it comes to student retention. From creating new roles focused specifically on male cohorts to promoting existing resources with the hope of expanding their reach, institutions are trying many different approaches to boost completion rates for male students.

Where to invest for the “biggest bang for your buck”? The answer is clear, says Provost and Vice President of Cal State L.A.

How did California State University, Los Angeles land at the top of the list of institutions providing students with the most economic mobility? “Targeted efforts to improve student performance, increase academic outcomes, and help students graduate and prosper postgraduation,” according to Inside Higher Ed. These and other completion-boosting tactics are core to a newly created Economic Mobility Index focused on increasing ROI for low-income students.

What does the University of Tennessee at Knoxville have right that so many have wrong? Its Vice Provost of Student Success says it comes down to campus culture

In her keynote address at the 2022 Gallup at Work Summit earlier this month, Amber Williams explored how UT has managed to increase its retention rate to the highest its seen in recent years even as the national rate has gone down almost two percentage points. “The more we learn about our students, the more we understand them,” shared Williams. “When we understand them, we can create the experiences that they want, provide the resources they need, and the community they want to be part of.”